Everything You Need To Know About NaNoWriMo

Are you a fan of best-selling novels such as Cinder by Marissa Myer or Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell? Believe it or not, these popular books that have graced the New York Times' Best Sellers list were originally written in just one month! Writers all around the world attempt this feat in a challenge called National Novel Writing Month (shortened to NaNoWriMo). Each year, on November 1st, hundreds of thousands of brave aspiring authors make it their mission to complete a 50,000-word novel in just one month. Per day, authors must average about 1,500 words. Crazy? Yes. Impossible? Absolutely not!

The challenge was created in 1999 by Chris Batty and 21 other writers in the San Francisco Bay Area, with three simple rules in mind: 1) the novel must be new; 2) it had to be written by a single person, and 3) it needed to be finished exactly one month from the start date. 

What began as a small, friendly quest among like-minded individuals quickly evolved into something much bigger. The following year, participants increased to 140. More and more joined each year, with 2019 having over 400,000 registered participants. 

Now, you may be asking yourself, what's the point? The process of writing is typically viewed as a long, thoughtful process. NaNoWriMo is quite literally the opposite, encouraging authors to write in a speedy frenzy.  

Though the organization offers a free printed copy of your novel, the incentive comes mainly from within, with many participants stating that the sense of accomplishment they receive from completing their novel is the best prize of all. It also forces many people to set aside excuses and just write their book. Participants who may have felt alone in their writing journey before can find a community of amazing authors within this program, which is a push many writers need to get through. 

The tenacity gained from the completion of this challenge is a big reward, too. If you can write a novel in a month, what can’t you do? 

Most importantly, at the end of NaNoWriMo, you're left with your own story. You can go on to publish this story, or keep it to yourself, but it’s yours nonetheless. 

Even though this year’s challenge is coming to a close, don’t let that stop you from following your creative dream! The friendly, supportive and enthusiastic spirit of NaNoWriMo can be applied to any month. However, if you want to participate in the real deal, mark your calendars for November 1st, 2021, and sign up on their website